Thanks Marty and George,
We were already leaning towards the full displacement for reasons of comfort, economical cruising, sea keeping and prioritizing the more distant destinations first. With the idea that a boat with those qualities and benefits win out over any limitations a deeper draft might pose in some of the inland waterways.
While I mentioned a timeframe of 5+ years it is one of things that we have an open mind on and we'll see how it goes, also knowing that schedules and times frames are the arch enemies of fun and safe boating.
Our budget for a boat is not more than 1 million with an annual budget of 120,000 for all expenses while living and cruising on the boat.
Regarding experience, I have been boating all my life which has included owning and operating planing vessels up to 38' feet, crewing on deliveries between Bermuda and the US on boats ranging from43' to 68', chartering boats ranging from36' to 53', and in so doing have been boating in the Caribbean, Florida, the eastern seaboard, the Mediterranean and Bermuda.